Top 10 Horror Remakes of the 21st Century

Horror fans often times groan at the prospect of another remake. It’s certainly become a trend to take a movie franchise with an established following and remake it for today’s audiences. Detractors of remakes often see them as a quick cash grab that will damage the reputation of their beloved favorites.

Defenders of the remake will cite that some of the best horror movies are actually remakes. Movies such as The Thing (1982) and The Fly (1986) come to mind as remakes that surpassed the originals. These are an easy go-to when naming favorite horror remakes.

Horror remakes became a huge trend starting in the 21st century. There have been so many in the last 17 years that if someone were to ask a group of people their favorite horror remakes of the 21st century, you’d get an assortment of answers. Here is a Top 10 list of our favorites.

10. Friday the 13th (2009)

If this were a list of the “Top First 25 Minutes of Horror Remakes” then Friday the 13th might run away with the top spot. The first 25 minutes of Friday the 13th almost plays as its own crazy mini-movie. Other than the insane opening, Friday the 13th doesn’t bring anything new to the series. Taking plenty of nods and elements from the original series, it knows what works and sticks to it. In this case, that’s a good thing.

9. My Bloody Valentine 3D (2009)

My Bloody Valentine’s best attribute is that it does not take itself too seriously. It knows exactly what it wants to be and works it to perfection. The dialogue is cheesy, the effects are gimmicky, and the kills are absurd. Most of all, it’s just a bloody good time.

8. Piranha 3D (2010)

Piranha 3D is another exhibition in not taking yourself too seriously. Everything is delivered in excess including gore, beach bodies, and wacky performances. A movie that is so filled with glee you can imagine the cast having a blast making it. And what a cast it is. Everyone from Eli Roth to Christopher Lloyd shows up for this joyous horror comedy.

7. Dawn of the Dead (2004)

Zack Snyder’s Dawn of the Dead pays respect to the original film while ramping up the carnage. It takes a page out of 28 Days Later book by making the zombies incredibly fast. It also features one of the best opening scenes in a horror movie. With no context we get a young girl attacking her neighbors, killing the husband. The wife is able to escape to the outside, only to realize the whole world is going to hell.

6. Texas Chainsaw Massacre (2003)

The Texas Chainsaw Massacre remake had big shoes to fill if it were to match the intensity of the original. While it didn’t quite reach the heights of the original it still made for intense thrill ride, mostly in thanks to R. Lee Ermey. We all remember Ermey’s sergeant from Full Metal Jacket. Imagine that character but even more sadistic. A scene where Ermey demands that a tormented teen shoot him has the tension bursting through our skin.

5. The Hills Have Eyes (2006)

Alexandre Aja’s second entry on our list (Piranha 3D) is very different than the first. There are not many laughs in the remake of Wes Craven’s 1977 original. Brutal visuals and a breakneck pace makes this horror remake stand out. Some even say it is a step above the original. The Hills Have Eyes not only brings the horror goods, but also has great subtext on the nature of man and what they will do when pushed to their breaking point.

4. Let Me In (2010)

Let Me In is a remake of the 2008 Swedish film Let the Right One In. With just two years between the two, it is the shortest time between original and remake on our list. Let Me In is similar to the original, which in this case is a good thing. Focusing on the relationship between the two leads, we get an elegant story of childhood, friendship, and love while still providing plenty of thrills.

3. The Crazies (2010) 

The Crazies is an incredibly tense film about a small town gone mad. It works in similar ways to classic horror films such as Invasion of the Body Snatchers and The Thing, placing you in a scenario where you’re not sure whom you can trust. The monster can be your neighbor, your best friend, or even yourself and you wouldn’t know it until it’s too late. It also boasts the scariest scene featuring a baseball field you’ll ever see.

2. The Ring (2002)

The oldest movie on our list is also one of the best. The Ring is a remake of the 1998 Japanese film Ringu. Shades of gray and black make up most of the film’s color palette. That and what seems to be a never-ending rainstorm create a somber sense of dread throughout the entire movie. The Ring’s unique atmosphere is what makes it so effective. It’s an atmosphere that gives viewers a great anxiety until it’s finally released through some of movie’s splendid scares.

1. Evil Dead (2013)

Remember what I said earlier about it being a good thing to not take yourself too seriously? Well forget about that for Fede Alvarez’s Evil Dead. Evil Dead takes away the humor that made the original series so great and replaces it with an incredible spectacle of gore-filled insanity. This includes a finale where blood literally rains from the sky. It shares some of the simple premise of the original but forms its own originality through its unique style. Evil Dead is truly one of the great horror movies of the 21st century.

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David Baker

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